Take That and party
MORE OF THAT sets out on the Gold Cup trail at Carlisle and should take the beating in the Colin Parker Memorial Intermediate Chase.
This race is developing a fine tradition and has again attracted a small but select field, some 12 months on from the highly-rated Saphir Du Rheu accounting for The Young Master. The selection might not be the most robust of animals, but his ability is not in doubt and there are very few miles on the clock for an eight-year-old.
Jonjo O’Neill’s charge is, in fact, the only horse to beat the mighty Annie Power in completed starts, when springing what at the time was a surprise in the World Hurdle at Cheltenham in 2014. He returned at Newbury later in the year but was beaten and subsequently off for a year until making his chasing bow, taking to the bigger fences with aplomb in two wins at Cheltenham, before finishing third in the RSA Chase.
That is high-class form and while O’Neill is bound to have left something to work on with a big campaign ahead, it will be disappointing if he does not go very close to making a winning start. O’Neill, owner JP McManus and rider Barry Geraghty have every chance of a double courtesy of In The Rough, who looks certain to relish every yard of the Cumberland Handicap Chase.
The seven-year-old has taken a while to get the hang of the bigger obstacles but showed a good attitude in doing so last time out over three miles and this extra two furlongs a bit can only work in his favour.
Definitly Red held an entry in the Colin Parker but Brian Ellison, who is in red-hot form at the moment, has opted to start him off in the Coach & Horses Handicap Hurdle.
He is rated a couple of pounds lower over hurdles and this looks a nice prize to win on the way to better things back over fences. The two-anda-half-mile trip looks perfect.
Dan Skelton has his string in tip-top form and looks likely to add to his tally at Huntingdon with Late Night Lily. A useful bumper performer before having her attentions switched to the jumping game, the daughter of Midnight Legend shaped with promise on two of her first three starts before opening her account at this venue in April.
She was backed as though defeat was out of the question on her return from a break at Market Rasen last month and duly obliged, looking likely to score easily before tiring after the final flight.